#20 What Character Gets on My Nerves?
Light Yagami – Death Note
I know that this will divide opinion, since, for some bizarre reason, Light continues to be one of the best-loved anime characters in existence, but I just cannot stand the guy! And that’s putting it mildly (I try to keep things PG here on WWB). I once joked to my friends that I could probably write an essay on the reasons why I loathed Light and now, finally, the time has come to make good on my word – even at the risk of alienating my readers!
Warning: major spoilers for Death Note ahead. If you’ve yet to see the anime, this isn’t the post for you!
One reason why I simply cannot stand Light is that he is insufferably arrogant. Because of his impeccable grades, charm, and good looks, he has always been given special treatment. So it’s easy to understand why Light is the way that he is. All the same, the way that he looks down on other people, using, discarding, or brushing them off, and straight-up compares himself to God, offends me. And it’s not just criminals Light treats this way, but his fellow task force members, girlfriends, and even family. Disgusting. I’m of the opinion that you shouldn’t look down on somebody just because you’re smarter than them. They probably have other, equally as precious, gifts to bring to the table, like patience, mercy, or compassion, all of which are qualities that Light lacks.
As I mentioned previously, Light treats his women pretty poorly. As a woman myself (yes, girls do exist on the Internet!), this is something that I can’t abide by! From the very first moment that Misa, the second Kira, confesses her feelings to Light, he’s already plotting how to take advantage of her blind devotion to him. Throughout the series Light also blows hot and cold, using his charm to manipulate Misa or brush her off, as he sees fit, repeatedly places her in danger, and even cheats on her. Misa might have been dumb as soup, but her love for Light was heartfelt and genuine, she didn’t deserve to be treated so terribly… Kiyomi Takada, Light’s other woman, is treated no less favourably (despite being considerably more intelligent and mature than Misa). Light used her to further his schemes, then left her for dead once she had served her purpose. What a gentleman!
Like Light, justice is something that I feel very strongly about. I believe that we are all entitled to fair and equal treatment, regardless of things like race, religion, or sexuality. And, in a sense, Light does treat all people equally, as it’s not just wanton criminals he murders using the Death Note, but many innocent people, including: the FBI investigators, Naomi, Watari, L, and Mello, all to save his own skin. That’s not justice, that’s cowardice! Light’s willingness to murder the innocent, whilst simultaneously judging criminals for the same, or even lesser crimes, is also a fine example of hypocrisy. It goes to show that Light was merely paying the concept of justice lip service, what he was really concerned with was obtaining and maintaining power. All in all his actions throughout the series were utterly reprehensible.
Finally, Light’s responsible for the deaths of many of Death Note’s best characters. In fact, I still haven’t forgiven him for L’s! In many ways, L and Light are very similar. Both are loners, both are extremely intelligent, and both are unconcerned with using people to achieve their own ends. But L, unlike Light, was always honest, upfront (almost painfully so), and prepared to put himself in danger for justice’s sake. Not only did this make L considerably more lovable than Light, it also showed that, whilst they both cried out for justice, only L was prepared to do what it took to ensure that it was served.
Thanks for reading my rant! I hope that it doesn’t turn too many of you against me. Ha, ha! Before you go, let me know: are you a Light apologist? Or do you share my dislike of the guy? Or maybe there’s another character who you can’t stand? At any rate, I look forward to hearing from you!